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KSTAR
02-09-2006, 09:46 PM
If you were building a dream LightWave machine today what would it be, without cost being an issue (kinda) I have a chance to build a couple of LightWave machines. The last ones I built are 3 years old now. For clarity sake could you please answer in the format below, with opinions or responses below your descriptions. For cost just a ballpark I can research the best price later. Thanks!

CPU type xxxxxx cost?
Motherboard xxxxxxx cost?
Graphics card xxxxxxx cost?
Monitor xxxxxxxxx cost?
Keyboard xxxxxxxxx cost?
Brand name system xxxxxx cost?
etc.etc.

Comments opinions flames etc here :)

Scott_Blinn
02-10-2006, 10:02 AM
http://www.boxxtech.com/products/Apexx4.asp

* Processors: 4 x Opteron Model 880 Dual-Core (8 CPUs total)

* Memory: 32GB DDR400 ECC ( 16 x 2GB DIMMs)

* System Storage: 2 x 80GB SATA, 7,200 rpm, RAID 1

* Data Storage: 2.8TB, 8 x 400GB SATA, 7,200 rpm, RAID 5

* Graphics: NVIDIA FX4500

* Removable Storage: 16x Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer

* Operating System: Red Hat Advanced Server Update 4 (64-bit)

* Keyboard and cordless laser mouse



they range from $23,260 to $42,450 (US)

no idea if Win 64bit runs on it though- would have to ask. After you were done robbing a bank that is. :-)

lots
02-10-2006, 01:57 PM
I'd actually get the 8-Way opteron dual core with 128GB of RAM :) That would run you closer to $50k-$100k though... And 64bit Windows 2003 Server would work on a machine like this.

KSTAR
02-10-2006, 02:12 PM
Thanks for the info, anyone else out there have any input. I know I said cost is know issue, but any killer systems in the 4k to 10k range?

thanks

Intuition
02-10-2006, 03:39 PM
Go with 64bit if you can. I believe that the only hangup with 64bit now is that f-prime isn't 64bit yet. I don't think that f-prime64 is too far off in the future.

http://www.cyberpowersystem.com/system/ultraw3000.asp?v=d

Start with this one and try to max it out.

OF course you should only do a single video card since 2 doesn't really seem to improve the framerate of openGL.

But even when I start maxxing it out it gets a little over $2000. Which is great. Get the fastest 4800 and a liquid cooling system and your still around $2000.

I payed $4500 a piece for two maxxed out 3.2 ghz station 2 years ago.

KSTAR
02-10-2006, 03:49 PM
what was the breakdown of the $4500 system you built? If you dont mind

lots
02-10-2006, 05:03 PM
heh, sine you're looking in the $4-$10k range, then a dual dual core Opteron system is probably what you're looking for. You can install 64bit windows XP and Lightwave no problem. It should come in just under $4k. You can "only" max the RAM out to 16GB though.. The more ram you put the more money you'll need ;)


Here's some specs:

Tyan Thunder K8WE
2x Opteron 280 (285s later this month..)
4GB of RAM (you could go for the full 16GB, but that would get you closer to $10k in price)
Geforce 7800GT (or a Quadro .. whichever you prefer.. though I'd stick to a Geforce since Quadros have never really brought much to LW that I know of.. I'd also ignore getting two for SLI, and stick to just one :P
a PC Power and Cooling PSU. Either the 850W or the 1KW..
The rest is pretty much up to you.. Hard drive size, etc.

Actually thats rather similar to my machine, minus the dual core opterons :) and twice the RAM :P

Lamont
02-10-2006, 11:33 PM
My dream system? Hmmmm... not really a dream, more like what's coming down the pike:

Asus Mobo (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131568)
Asus 7800GTX (x2) (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814121201)
AMD Processor (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103582)
Lian-Li Case (just ordered it) (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811112073)
Western Digital HDD (x2) (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144417)
PSU (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817101208)
WinXP Pro 64bit (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16837102034)

I want the Dell 30", but I know I would only be able to get the 20" Widescreen.

KSTAR
02-10-2006, 11:49 PM
Is is safe to say the consensus says go with AMD versus Intel for the CPU?

Lamont
02-11-2006, 12:26 AM
It's what you want. I am going AMD because every year I make a comp that's Intel-based, and I want to try the other one out for myself, that's all.

Intuition
02-11-2006, 02:07 PM
AMD has true 64bit processors where as intel is making a 64bit emulation processor. Which is essentially two 32bit procs that have access to more then 2GB of ram.

I'd say get a 64bit AMD in the 4000+ series. Anywhere between 4200 and 4800 and you'll be running Lightwave 64 and any sofware on it for a good 2+ maybe even 3 years without much worry.

I noticed that 32bit tapered off at 3.2 ghz. Before that we were making significantly faster computers every few months. Now its been 2 years since my 3.2ghz machines were bought and we aren't really much faster in the 32bit processor realm. The other technologies have been improving like the PCI express and front side busses and Ram keep getting faster but 32bit is tapering off.

64bit can play with 16gb of ram without even blikning and because of the gained multiplier in 64bit processing you can have a virtual ram up to multiple hundreds of terabytes.

The only problem with 64bit purchases right now that will be different in say 2 years is that 16GB of ram barely scratches the surface of what 64bit processing can handle. In two years we may see systems with 64GB of ram.

That may be the only hangup to the 64bit systems that are available now. Most of them are maxxing out the motherboards with 4gb of ram capability. Best get one that can go to at least 16gb if you want longevity.

In the case that you buy a computer every 1 to 2 years like me then get the best you can now cause you'll upgrade later anyways.

The 2 computers I paid $4500 for two years ago are pretty standard now.

3.2 ghz p4 with 4gb ram (nvere really used more then 2gb due to 32bit limits)
800mhz front side bus
80 gb system drive (C:) for programs/software
200gb content drive (V:) for storing data.

The purpose of a system drive seperated from a content drive is so that you can spool program data and content data at the same time optimizing your processor time. If your computer has to jump back and forth on the same hard drive getting say the Lightwave data and then the object files you'll slow down processing.

Best to have the object data coming from one drive and the modeler and layout data happening at the same time from the other drive. This keeps disk spinning to a minimum and data transfer to a maximum.

Lightwolf
02-11-2006, 02:13 PM
AMD has true 64bit processors where as intel is making a 64bit emulation processor. Which is essentially two 32bit procs that have access to more then 2GB of ram
Erm, not quite. Both AMD and intel nowadays support the same extended instructions set (in this case x86-64 for 64bit) and are completely software compatible (that is, if they support 64bit in the first place, intel calls it EMT).
However, intels implementation of it seems to perform worse than AMDs (who invented the tech) ... then again intel has faster SSE2 instructions.

Currently I'd get an AMD hands down though (actually, I got one and run XP64 on it)... that might change by the end of the year, since intel is catching up with large strides it seems.

Cheers,
Mike

Intuition
02-11-2006, 02:15 PM
Thanks for the clarification Mike. :D

Lightwolf
02-11-2006, 02:18 PM
Thanks for the clarification Mike. :D
I hope you don't mind :D

...and yes, the current AMDs really rock. Especially if you get a decent fan set-up and run them using cool'n'quiet... when not using the CPU at 100% I can hardly hear the box at the moment, quite a relief after spending long hours next to a dual Xeon....
Heck, the Mac mini is louder ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Intuition
02-11-2006, 02:34 PM
No I don't mind at all :)

On an OT I made a post at Infinimap, just a couple of questions.

Thanks.

KSTAR
02-11-2006, 02:35 PM
Intuition, and Lightwolf great information! I really appreciate it. I know the path Im going. Definately AMD :thumbsup:

KSTAR
02-11-2006, 02:59 PM
Oh I forgot to say thanks to you as well Lamont. Thanks especially for the links. The system you are building is along the lines I plan to follow

Lamont
02-11-2006, 04:45 PM
Oh I forgot to say thanks to you as well Lamont. Thanks especially for the links. The system you are building is along the lines I plan to followMuch welcome. I already have 4gigs of ram that I am pulling out of my old comp, and then I will put a dual-channel 1gb kit in the old one. A Mid-range dual-channel kit (2gb) is about $250 on Newegg.

And I chose that mobo because it will take the DDR2 I already have. Or else I would have gotten a mobo that takes 8gb.

Lightwolf
02-11-2006, 04:51 PM
And I chose that mobo because it will take the DDR2 I already have. Or else I would have gotten a mobo that takes 8gb.
Hi lamont,
be careful here, there is no AMD board that can use DDR2 at the moment. Only intel boards currently support that. AMDs will, but only with the next processor release, which will use a new socket as well (remember the AMDs have the memory controller on the CPU).

...unless DDR2 was a typo...

Cheers,
Mike

KSTAR
02-11-2006, 04:54 PM
Ah you answered my next question. Any opinions on the MB's that take 8gigs or 16gigs of ram, and is the ram standard on all of these motherboards? The last systems I put together used the good ole Rambus memory :thumbsdow . I figure its going to be a day of reading on Toms hardware guide, but all of this info gives me a good jumping off point.

Lightwolf
02-11-2006, 05:09 PM
Ah you answered my next question. Any opinions on the MB's that take 8gigs or 16gigs of ram, and is the ram standard on all of these motherboards?
Well, currently there are two kinds of RAM:
DDR - used by AMD
DDR2 - used by intel and by AMD starting this summer
DDR2 works at higher clock speeds, but also has a higher latency. I.e. at the same RAM clock DDR is faster than DDR2.

Also, AMD is still ahead due to the integrated memory controller.

Most lower end boards have 4 dimm sockets, which (practically) limits you to 4GB. 2GB RAM is very hard to come by, and usually only as expensive registered RAM for server type boards.

So, the things to look out for:
Clockspeed of the RAM (obviously)
DDR vs. DDR2
registered vs. unregistered
ECC vs. non-ECC

I hope this gives you some good pointers to start from.

Cheers,
Mike

Lamont
02-11-2006, 05:13 PM
DDR 400, hehehehe